Dublin Coffman High School girls track and field coach Greg King will have his hands full Saturday, April 20, when his team plays host to the Dublin Classic.
Not only does King have to worry about his athletes, but he also has to help make sure that the meet runs smoothly. Complicating matters is the fact that Coffman will be holding its prom that evening.
"Since we have the prom, any edge we have goes out the window," said King, whose team won the 15-team meet last season with 87.7 points, edging runner-up Scioto (75). "On prom day, we try to let (the girls) do one, maybe two events. If you get that over with, then you can (leave the meet) to get ready for prom."
The fact that many of his athletes won't be competing in all their usual events provides King an opportunity to see what other athletes can do.
"We had the same thing in 2010, I think it was," King said, referring to the prom being held on the same day as the meet. "We scored fewer points, but we did find a couple of younger kids who really did well for us.
"There's always a flip side to everything because you get to see kids who normally would not get a chance to perform. We had some kids from the relays (in the Dublin Classic in 2010) who went on to qualify for regional out of nowhere, and I think that experience (in the Dublin Classic) helped."
Junior sprinter Beatrice Hannan said the meet is one of her favorites because of the fan support.
"Every year, it's really fun because a lot of students come there to support us," Hannan said. "It will be a long day and everyone is excited to be there."
In addition to Coffman, Jerome and Scioto, expected to compete in the meet are Brunswick, DeSales, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Davidson, Mount Vernon, Olentangy, Pickerington Central, Reynoldsburg, Thomas Worthington, Whetstone and Worthington Kilbourne.
"Competition is always a motivation for me, and there will be some good teams there," Hannan said. "Meets like this are a reminder that I have to work hard every day to keep improving because there are so many good athletes."
In the meet last season, the Coffman boys squad finished fifth (49) of 16 teams, behind champion Davidson (82).
"I think one big advantage of a home meet is being able to get some more rest," King said. "Instead of having to be there at 7 a.m. to get on the bus, if you (compete) four hours after the meet starts, you can show up (shortly) before (your event) to get ready to go instead of waiting all day. That can be a plus."
Coffman competed in the 16-team Lexington Invitational on April 13. The girls team placed second (90) behind Canton GlenOak (90.5) and the boys team finished 13th (15) behind champion Pemberville Eastwood (122).
Irish girls using meet as measuring stick
The Scioto girls team was runner-up in the Dublin Classic last season and the boys team tied Bradley and Olentangy for 10th (28).
"It is a pretty good meet, and it lets you know where you stand with some of the best teams in the area," girls coach Matt Suttle said. "It's the first checkpoint in the season of where you are and how your kids are performing."
That said, Suttle will be focusing more on his athletes' performances rather than where the Irish finish in the team standings.
"We don't enter a single meet (during the regular season) with the goal of winning," he said. "We don't discuss team scores until the end of the year. We use these meets as practice for the meets that count at the end of year.
"We try to use a lot of different kids and see what they can do.
"We will probably use (the Dublin Classic) as a chance to see how they handle things on a big stage."
Scioto competed in the Stingel Invitational on April 13 at Pickerington North. The girls team placed third (66) of 14 teams, behind Gahanna (133) and Westerville North (66.5), and the boys team tied Marysville for 11th (16) of 15 teams, behind champion Pickerington North (146.5).
Celtics girls looking forward to Classic
The Jerome girls team finished eighth (43) in the Dublin Classic last season and the boys team finished 13th (19).
Girls coach Randy Beatty said her athletes always look forward to the intra-school district meet.
"The (Dublin) Classic is always a big meet with good competition from around the area," she said.
"It's something the girls really look forward to because of the relationships they have built. They know a lot of the kids (from Coffman and Scioto) from going to school with them when they were younger and from competing against them. They have built a lot of good relationships."
Jerome competed in the Panther Invitational on April 12 at Hilliard Darby. The girls team placed sixth (38) of eight teams, behind champion Olentangy Liberty (150), and the boys team finished fifth (64) of 10 teams, behind champion Davidson (136).